Nets ‘hopeful’ to have James Harden on Saturday; Hoping Sharpe recovers quickly from illness

Brooklyn Nets James Harden John Abbamondi
The old Nets logo on the court prior to the game between the Cleveland Cavilers and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets played Wednesday’s game without James Harden, and are ‘hopeful’ that he’ll be back for Saturday’s game on the road in Golden State.

Harden was downgraded to out of the Nets meeting with the Denver Nuggets a few hours before tipoff due to left hamstring tightness. He had originally been listed as questionable earlier in the day.

The third member of the Nets “Big 3” was coming off a 33-point effort in the Nets’ loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Brooklyn played without any of its superstars in the lineup on Wednesday in the loss to Denver. The Nets head back out on the road for five games beginning on Saturday, and the question becomes will Harden be back on the court by then?

“I think we’re all hopeful he’ll play next game,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “It’s day-to-day and we’ll see. I think it’s likely and probable. We’re all very hopeful that he’ll be ready to go.”

It was rookie guard Cam Thomas that picked up the torch and led the Nets offense on Wednesday with a 25 point performance without any of the “Big 3” on the court. Kyrie Irving, who cannot play in Brooklyn because of his unvaccinated status, will be back in the Nets’ lineup starting on Saturday.

Harden wasn’t the only one missing from the Nets lineup. Day’Ron Sharpe was also out with what the team described as a non-covid illness.

Nash later described it as a common illness. “Hopefully he’ll recover quickly,” he said.

The Nets rookie big man has made an impact recently and had started in eight straight games before Wednesday. He had also played in the last 11 consecutive games for Brooklyn.

Sharpe has averaged 6.5 points per game in 22 appearances this season while shooting 58.9% from the field. He also has averaged 5 rebounds and .03 assists for the Nets.